The NFL Draft’s Hidden Gems

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mlive.com

By Elijah Silverman and Vasili Aggelis

Malik Willis: Malik Willis’ play for Liberty this past year was amazing. He threw for 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns this season, leading his team to an 8-5 record. On the other hand, Willis tossed 12 interceptions in 13 games. He added an additional 878 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. These numbers have others comparing him to versatile quarterbacks in the NFL, like Dak Prescott. His great running and playmaking could mix well with the playmaking of Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts on the Atlanta Falcons. Malik Willis receives an A- as a quarterback going into the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Kenny Pickett: Kenny Pickett’s exciting, impressive final season at the University of Pittsburgh has many believing he will be selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Pickett ended his career at Pitt with 12,303 passing yards and 81 touchdowns. Pickett has the most wins for a quarterback in Pitt history, as he has 32 victories over 49 career starts. Teams needing a quarterback, such as the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers, should consider picking Pickett with the ninth and twentieth picks, respectively. Kenny Pickett receives a B+.

Chris Olave: Chris Olave has been a beast at Ohio State for years; however, he has fallen in mock drafts. Olave caught the ball 65 times for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final season, averaging 14.4 yards per catch. Despite an amazing career at Ohio State, he has never had a 1,000-yard season, which is very concerning. He will still be selected in the first round, but is any receiver in the NFL labeled “great” without a 1000-yard season? We could be looking at a huge bust or a huge boom. Olave possesses the speed of Tyreek Hill and the hands of DeAndre Hopkins. However, he has not shown much improvement over the last few years. His numbers go up with his play time, which is normal. Chris Olave gets a C. 

Jahan Dotson: Jahan Dotson’s journey at Penn State has come to an end, as he moves on to play at the professional level. His route-running separates him from the other receivers in his class. Dotson’s 91 receptions for 1,182 yards and 13 touchdowns are impressive, although his size may impact teams’ decisions to select him. Dotson has the potential to be a star receiver on a top team in the NFL, earning him a B+.

Aidan Hutchinson: Aidan Hutchinson was one of the meanest defensive players in college football. This past season, he accumulated 14 sacks this year, supporting his case to be the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Hutchinson has the potential to be the Defensive Rookie of the Year and a Hall of Famer, as the sky’s the limit for a player with his abilities. These are the reasons he gets an A+ for this year’s draft.